Sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia) seed processing and potential utilization

J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jun 15;53(12):4784-7. doi: 10.1021/jf040483g.


Sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia) is a leguminous plant that infests soybean fields in the southeastern United States. Its seeds contain a variety of toxic, highly colored compounds, mainly anthraquinones together with a small amount of fat. These compounds contaminate and lower the quality of soybean oil when inadequately cleaned soybean seed from this area is processed. The sorting of sicklepod seed from a soybean harvest is an additional economic burden on the farmer beyond the cost of proper disposal of the weed seed to avoid worsening field infestation. Fortunately, sicklepod seed also contains substantial amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. These edible components when freed from anthraquinones have a market in pet food as well as potential in human foods because of the high galactomannan ratio of the polysaccharides. Sicklepod seed was dehulled, and the ground endosperm was defatted, followed by sequential solvent extraction of the defatted seed meal to isolate the anthraquinones, carbohydrates, and protein components into their respective classes. Each class of isolate was spectroscopically identified.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Dietary Proteins / analysis
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Galactose / analogs & derivatives
  • Mannans / analysis
  • Polysaccharides / analysis
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Senna Plant / chemistry*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Mannans
  • Polysaccharides
  • galactomannan
  • Galactose